Journal of a Taekwondo referee

Friday, May 13, 2005


This is a district level championship held at the Cheras badminton stadium. This is the first time i officiated in this stadium. the last time i was here, i was half limping & i couldnt fight anymore. looking back now, i think about how i've improved in this 2 years.

anyway, reported in at 8am, called up by Mr V, RIC was Mr W. 4 arenas, if I remembered correctly. Wore black shoes, thought better of it, changed to a pair of white ones. but they were old & peeling at the front. After several incidents where I nearly tripped over my own feet, changed them to another white pair (yeah, i got a boutique & shoe shop in my car!) that was peeling at the back. A few trainees sported super saiyan hair styles. either that, or they stuck a finger in an electric socket.

pretty uneventful tourney except a parent banged the secretariate table during protest. and also a protest over wrong decision by HOC. here's an incident worth mentioning:

player gets kicked in the neck. he moves away, stunned, with red-teary eyes, as if he cant breathe. centre referee asks if he wants to fight. player shakes head NO. centre referee asks 2 more times. NO & NO. centre referee declares other player as winner. Coach walks angrily to HOC table & demands why his player lost, insisting that his player can still fight.

Now, point of interest. Decision whether to stop a match rests on these people: HOC, center referee, player & finally the coach.

Now, here's a few points of interests i noticed during the recent nationals.

Stupid things that coaches do:

  • OK, OK. turning kick, back kick, chopping, reverse swing. Ha, turning kick some more. faster, faster aka blindly yelling all techniques that do not suit the situation
  • looks at other direction or answers their cell while their player is fighting in the ring
  • stands up & screams at player to perform particular technique. yeah, as if thats gonna make a difference
  • looks helplessly around while player rolls in agony on the ground (normally after a kick to the groin)
  • wears headgear the wrong way for player, thus embarassing player & self in the process
  • occupies the seat during break when player is close to exhaustion & dying of exhaustion

I'm not an expert at coaching as im not much of a talker but I do know that the duties of a coach are to

  • observe the weakness of player's opponent & think of ways to counter measure them & conveying this to the player during break
  • moral support esp when player is tired or losing
  • look out for injuries in player & responsible for calling time out if necessary
  • remind players of fundamentals during sparring esp blocks & look out & minimize players' weaknesses from being exposed in the ring

I just love doing junior tourneys. The little ones esp the 7, 8 year olds are so cute when they are in full gear & its their virgin match. Of course, in these type of matches, u gotta be more alert as they are amateurs, be a tad lenient & explain the fouls clearly to them. i used to be like:


now, i slow things down a bit and

kalyeo-shigan-chung-kyonggo-hey dont push, understand? jangan tolak, faham? ok?- kyesok

it helps when i explain in both languages.


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